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Pentingnya Perlindungan Hak Kekayaan Intelektual untuk Industri Kuliner di Indonesia

Indonesia dikenal sebagai salah satu negara dengan kekayaan kuliner yang sangat beragam. Dengan wilayah yang luas dan suku yang sangat beragam membuat berbagai wilayah di Indonesia memiliki ciri khas kulinernya masing-masing, yang sangat bervariasi satu sama lain.

Tidak hanya makanan yang bervariasi, industri kuliner di Indonesia juga merupakan salah satu bidang usaha yang sangat umum, yang dapat kita temui di berbagai kota hingga perdesaan di seluruh nusantara. Bila kita mendatangi berbagai pusat perbelanjaan, tempa wisata, hingga gedung-gedung perkantoran, dengan mudah kita bisa menemukan berbagai pedagang yang menjual berbagai hidangan yang sangat bervariatif.

Pada tahun 2019 misalnya, berdasarkan laporan dari Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), ada sekitar 3,9 juga usaha mikro dan kecil di Indonesia yang bergerak di industri kuliner (databoks.katadata.co.id, 23/8/2021). Angka ini tentu merupakan jumlah yang tidak kecil, dan merupakan bukti bawa industri kuliner merupakan sektor yang memiliki pengaruh yang sangat besar sebagai sumber penghidupan bagi jutaan orang di Indonesia.

Melalui angka yang sangat tinggi ini kita bisa melihat bahwa industri kuliner di Indonesia memiliki modal dan potensi yang sangat luar biasa untuk dikembangkan. Bila dikembangkan secara maksimum, industri kuliner di Indonesia tentu dapat memri sumbangsih yang besar untuk meningkatkan kesejahteraan di Indonesia, dan juga semakin memperkenalkan nama negara kita di dunia internasional.

Untuk melakukan hal tersebut tentu merupakan sesuatu yang tidak mudah. Ada sangat berbagai proses yang harus dijalankan dan juga regulasi yang perlu dicanangkan. Hal ini tentunya meliputi berbagai aspek, mulai dari pendanaan, hingga bagaimana kita bisa membantu memberikan pelatihan usaha kepada para pemilik usaha kuliner yang tersebar di seluruh Indonesia.

Salah satu regulasi yang sangat penting misalnya, yang terkait dengan kemudahan berusaha. Tentunya bila pemerintah memberlakukan regulasi yang sangat ketat kepada para pemilik usaha kuliner, seperti perizinan yang ketat dan lain sebagainya, hal tersbeut akan semakin mempersulit para pemilik usaha tersebut untuk mengembangkan usaha yang sedang dikerjakannya.

Selain itu, tidak hanya kemudahan berusaha, kita juga harus bisa memastikan para pemilik usaha kuliner tersebut dapat memiliki kesempatan untuk bisa mendapatkan manfaat finansial secara penuh dari inovasi yang dibuatnya, terhadap produk-produk yang ia jual. Di sini lah, perlindungan kekayaan intelektual menjadi hal yang sangat penting untuk diperhatikan.

Hak kekayaan intelektual merupakan hal yang sangat penting dan esensial untuk dijaga dan ditegakkan, apalagi bila terkait dengan industri kreatif, salah satunya adalah industri kuliner. Melalui jaminan perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang kuat, para pelaku usaha kuliner di Indonesia bisa lebih mampu untuk menikmati manfaat finansial dari karya dan inovasi yang mereka buat.

Beberapa jenis hak kekayaan intelektual yang akan sangat membantu para pelaku usaha industri kreatif sektor kuliner adalah desain industri, rahasia dagang merek atau brand. 

Desain industri sendiri didefinisikan sebagai sebuah kreasi tentang bentuk, komposisi garis dan warna, konfigurasi, yang memberikan kesan estetik pada produk tersebut (hakpaten.id). Berbagai produk-produk kuliner di Indonesia memiliki desain yang berbeda-beda dan khas, yang membedakan produk tersebut dengan produk-produk lainnya.

Sementara itu, merek atau brand didefinisikan sebagai tanda untuk membedakan jasa atau barang yang diproduksi oleh produsen dalam perdagangan (hakpaten.id). 

Merek atau brand merupakan kekayaan intelektual yang paling umum yang digunakan oleh berbagai sektor usaha, termasuk juga tetunya adalah sektor kuliner. Merek ini digunakan untuk membedakan berbagai produk yang dijual oleh para produsen di pasar, misalnya seperti produk ayam gorang A dan ayam goreng B.

Rahasia dagang sendiri didefinisikan sebagai kekayaan intelektual yang berbentuk informasi eksklusif yang memiliki nilai ekonomis yang tidak diungkapkan kepada publik dan tidak diketahui secara umum (viva.co.id, 2/5/2017). Hal ini merupakan sesuatu yang sangat penting untuk dilindungi mengingat bahwa dibutuhkan yang keras dan kreativitas yang tidak mudah untuk para pelaku usaha tersebut untuk bisa menemukan resep yang dapat digandrungi oleh para konsumen.

Tetapi sayangnya, penegakan hukum untuk melindungi hak kekayaan intelektual pada aspek tersebut masih memiliki banyak kelemahan di Indonesia. 

Misalnya, kita bisa melihat dengan mudah berbagai rumah makan dan juga desain-desain produk yang menyerupai desain dan brand yang dimiliki oleh badan usaha lain yang lebih teranma. Hal ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang tidak bisa dibenarkan, karena merupakan bentuk pencurian ide, yang tentunya berpotensi akan sangat merugikan perusahaan yang memiliki hak kekayaan intelektual tersebut.

Bila kita dapat memiliki perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual yang kuat, khususnya untuk industri kuliner di Indonesia, maka hal tersebut akan semakin mendorong insentif untuk berinovasi, karena mereka bisa mendapatkan jaminan untuk mendapatkan manfaat ekonomi dari inovasi yang dibuatnya. 

Selain itu, para pelaku usaha juga tidak bisa dengan mudah membajak dan mencuri karya dan inovasi yang dimiliki oleh orang lain untuk mendapatkan keuntungan.

Originally published here

Harm reduction strategy stressed to achieve Tobacco-free nation by 2040

Speakers in a discussion have urged policymakers to incorporate Tobacco harm reduction strategy in their tobacco control plans and establish safer alternatives such as vaping products as smoking cessation medium like progressive nations around the world.

Voice of Vapers Bangladesh organised the discussion titled “The Need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction Strategy: Achieving the Government’s Health Agenda & Revenue Ambitions” at a Dhaka hotel on Saturday to mark the World Vape Day 2022.

Health Diplomats’ president Dr Delon Human said that Bangladesh was widely recognized as a resilient nation, known for her prowess to prove her critics wrong.

Read the full article here

TRIPS waiver will cost us decades of progress

By removing patent protection, crucial incentives to develop new ground-breaking innovations will be lost.

The COVID-19 pandemic, economic disruption, war in Ukraine, global hunger, and now monkeypox… With all these crises, one might say that the future of humanity looks grim. That would probably be true if we didn’t have innovation and intellectual property rights.

It doesn’t take a degree in history to understand that, despite many challenges, the world is improving. HIV and AIDS treatment has prevented millions of premature deaths. Cancer survival rates have improved by almost 20 percent since 1986. The COVID-19 vaccines, developed almost overnight, are already saving thousands of lives in Europe and beyond.

We have made significant progress in boosting vaccine accessibility. AstraZeneca is selling its vaccines to developing countries at cost price, and many developed countries have donated their vaccines to those in need. Even though a lot more could be done to increase access to COVID–19 vaccines, waiving patents is not a solution we can afford.

Right now, the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s member states are discussing a draft agreement on TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) flexibility to waive intellectual property protections. South Africa and India initiated the TRIPS waiver in 2020. Despite initial resistance from the EU and US, the compromise now seems in sight.

If adopted, the agreement would legalise compulsory licencing, a practice that allows the government to hand out the right to produce COVID-19 vaccines without the consent of a patent owner. On paper, allowing for the mass production of vaccines seems like a noble goal, but the consequences of such a policy are anything but promising. The short-term result of eroding intellectual property rights would be increased access to innovations. In the long-term, there would be no innovation.

While the current TRIPS waiver talks primarily concern COVID-19 vaccines, there is a worry that these flexibilities will become a norm or be misused once adopted. That was, for example, the case in Thailand, where compulsory licencing was introduced to treat non-infectious chronic diseases.

The move didn’t end well for Thailand. Abbott, one of the manufacturers whose drugs were targeted by the IP waiver, withdrew all of its patents from Thailand. After a series of negotiations, Abbott agreed to increase access to its drugs in exchange for IP protection. Back then, the EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson warned Thailand that compulsory licencing would hinder pharmaceutical innovation. Now, it seems like the EU, especially the Left, has forgotten this lesson.

“While the TRIPS waiver seems like a quick fix, the consequences of such a move will be dire”

Innovation takes time and effort, and crucially, investment. Pharmaceutical development usually involves biological, chemical, and clinical research and can take up to 15 years to complete. Only a tiny fraction of these efforts leads to the creation of a ground-breaking cure. It is moral and right for these companies to expect their risk-taking and investment to pay off through patents. By undermining IP protection, the TRIPS waiver would remove these incentives and endanger drug safety. Without patents, third-party suppliers will make vaccine shots based on patented formulas and processes. Still, without specialisation, this will increase the risk of producing bad, inactive vaccines that will undermine vaccination in general.

While the TRIPS waiver seems like a quick fix, the consequences of such a move will be dire. We have too many challenges ahead of us, and millions in Europe and beyond still await life-saving Alzheimer’s, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, or HIV/AIDS treatment. If we scrap patent protection now, all the progress we have made as a society and countless opportunities to improve the world will be lost.

Originally published here

Speakers stress need for tobacco harm reduction strategy 

They call for sensible regulations for vaping products to achieve government’s health agenda and revenue ambitions

Speakers at an event urged policymakers to incorporate Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) strategy in their tobacco control plans and establish safer alternatives such as vaping products as smoking cessation medium like progressive nations around the world. 

To commemorate World Vape Day 2022, Voice of Vapers Bangladesh organised a panel discussion titled “The Need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction Strategy: Achieving the Government’s Health Agenda & Revenue Ambitions” held at a Dhaka hotel on 28 May, reads a press release.

Dr Delon Human, president of Health Diplomats and an expert on harm reduction said, “Bangladesh is widely recognised as a resilient nation, known for her prowess to prove her critics wrong. Historically, the indomitable spirit of Bangladeshis has made them question the status quo and establish the rights of its people. The stupendous development across all sectors is a true testament of that.” 

Read the full article here

New York lawmakers just killed Bitcoin and crypto mining and consumers will suffer

Albany, NY – Early this morning, the New York State Senate joined with the State Assembly to pass a moratorium on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining, issuing yet another reminder that state lawmakers want to deny their residents from interacting with cryptocurrencies.

The law would prevent new permits from being issued to carbon-based fueled proof-of-work mining operations that use behind-the-meter energy, putting millions of dollars worth of investments into jeopardy. This follows the logic of the much-derided BitLicense regulation, which has made it nearly impossible for small and medium-sized firms to offer crypto services to New York residents.

“By passing this bill, New York lawmakers are unequivocally stating they want their residents completely locked out of cryptocurrencies, from generation and mining services to actually being able to easily buy them through an exchange,” said Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center, a consumer advocacy group.

“If Gov. Hochul signs this bill, it will drive a stake through the Bitcoin mining industry, and states like Florida, Montana, Utah, and Texas will rejoice at the opportunity to invite those entrepreneurs and innovators to establish operations in their states.

“Because Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies more broadly, will serve a vital role in making finance more inclusive and accessible for sending, receiving, and saving value, we hold it in the interest of consumers that the hashrate (the total computing power of the network) continue to grow, and that better public policy on cryptocurrencies is embraced among states.

“New York, however, has decided to take the NIMBY approach and deny their residents that opportunity,” added Ossowski.

“Cryptocurrency generation and mining firms have an incentive to use the most affordable and renewable energy sources available, and the data backs up this claim. This is a win-win scenario for towns and localities with these facilities, for employees of these firms, residents in these towns that benefit from increased commerce, and energy customers overall,” said Ossowski.

“As cryptocurrency mining proliferated in New York, it opened up new entrepreneurial activities that helped improve the lives of New Yorkers in small communities and large urban centers alike. Passing a ban on these activities, in pursuit of an unclear climate goal, will negate these gains. There is a better path,” added Ossowski.

“The aim of embracing climate goals to ensure 100% renewable energy usage in cryptocurrency generation and mining is well-intended, but a complete ban will have a devastating impact on innovators and entrepreneurs hosting their facilities in the state of New York, and consumers and investors that rely on their services,” said Aleksandar Kokotovic, crypto fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. 

“We understand that the quick rise of cryptocurrency mining raises many questions for residents, particularly when it involves the local economy and environment. However, a more prudent path would be an environmental review conducted by relevant authorities, rather than a wholesale ban and moratorium that would put many projects in legal jeopardy,” added Kokotovic.

***CCC Deputy Director Yaël Ossowski is available to speak on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries to yael@consumerchoicecenter.org.***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Washington, Ottawa, Brussels, Geneva, and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

The U.S. wants to relax exclusionary zoning to combat housing crisis. We should, too

Increasing the housing stock puts downward pressure on prices and fosters economic growth

At both the federal and provincial level, Canadians and their legislators often look down their noses at American policy and politics, and sometimes with good reason: gun control and the abortion debate come to mind. But when it comes to tackling the housing crisis Canadian politicians could learn a thing or two from what is unfolding south of the border.

Earlier this month President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would be seeking to tackle the root cause of the housing crisis, which it believes to be exclusionary zoning — local rules that prohibit multi-family housing from being built and instead favour single-family units. In a White House statement, the administration said “Exclusionary land use and zoning policies constrain land use, artificially inflate prices, perpetuate historical patterns of segregation, keep workers in lower productivity regions, and limit economic growth.”

All of that is true. Increasing the housing stock puts downward pressure on prices and fosters economic growth. Research on zoning rules in the U.S. has shown that, by freezing workers out of high-rent areas like New York and San Jose where their productivity would be higher, local zoning rules lowered U.S. economic growth by fully 36 per cent between 1964 and 2009. There is no reason to assume similarly exclusionary zoning laws aren’t having the same negative impact in Canada. Toronto, for example, has nearly 70 per cent of its land zoned exclusively for single-family homes, making it illegal to build anything with increased density.

Elevating the conversation and targeting zoning reform are things Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland could have done in their last budget. Right now, only two Conservative leadership candidates are talking about zoning on the campaign trail, Scott Aitchison and Pierre Poilievre.

But lessons about zoning reform aren’t just useful at the federal level. The U.S. offers plenty of examples of state and municipal legislators carrying out dramatic zoning reforms. In Oregon, for example, any land previously zoned exclusively for single-family homes can now, as of right, build a duplex on that site or even a four-unit dwelling if it is in a municipality larger than 25,000 people.

The same goes for Minneapolis, which abolished exclusionary zoning before the pandemic. The city now appears to be bucking the trend of rising rental prices. Rents for one- and two-bedroom units are actually lower in 2022 than they were in 2019. Some of that presumably can be chalked up to having made it easier to build for increased density.

Finally, the small town of Auburn, Maine, shows how local councilors can embrace “YIMBYism” (which stands for “Yes, in my backyard,” as opposed than “Not in my backyard”) to increase affordability. Auburn’s Mayor Jason Levesque, originally elected in 2017, ran on a pro-development platform that gave voters in his town of 24,000 three options: drastically raise taxes, cut public services, or bring in new residents. Having chosen growth, Auburn plans to increase its housing stock by upwards of 25 per cent, gutting zoning rules and taking an “all of the above” view on housing types.

That type of bold ambition is exactly what is needed in Canada’s major cities and the communities that surround them if we want to tackle rather than just talk about the affordability crisis. Nationally, average rents rose nine per cent in April compared to a year earlier. In Toronto and Vancouver, arguably the two Canadian cities most in need of increased density, rents rose 23 and 27 per cent, respectively. On the buying side, the national MLS benchmark price for a home was $882,000 in April, a 27 per cent increase year-over-year despite interest rate increases beginning to dampen demand.

Much of Canadian political culture is framed in opposition to what exists in the U.S. but on zoning reform, we should look southward and learn. It’s time to build but exclusionary zoning is in the way.

Originally published here

自由開講》理性態度看待緩減菸害

《菸害防制法》修法一直受大眾的矚目。目前台灣有近三百多萬吸菸者,但非吸菸者卻有近二千萬。對於非吸菸者而言,縱然他們可能真心希望台灣是民主和開放社會的範例;假如決議就只有簡單的少數服從多數,吸菸者幾乎可以說是沒有勝算,結果不是真正的民主,而是多數人暴政。

民主是和衷共濟,透過協商找出最接近兩全其美的方案。本次修法,屢受關注及討論原因之一,是衛生福利部提出的版本中,包括全面禁止電子煙在內之各式類菸品。

「為甚麼不乾脆戒菸?」對那些非吸菸者,可能會覺得戒菸事在人為,只要有決心的話,誰都可以立地成佛。然而事實證明,過去幾年容許吸菸者有替代品可供選擇的國家,吸菸率的降幅尤其明顯。以英國為例,自從 2013 年英國公共衛生署積極建議吸菸者改用電子煙,英國整體吸菸率下降了 25%。相比之下,世界上電子煙法規最嚴格的澳大利亞,同期的吸菸率僅下降了 8%。

Read the full article here

Time to Dispel Pollinator Mistruths

May 20th marked the annual World Bee Day of the United Nations, an excellent occasion to debunk the myth that the bees are dying because of modern agriculture. This common misconception has been making the rounds through environmentalist activism and the media for almost two decades.

When California beekeepers in the 2000s experienced losses in their bee colonies, environmentalists first blamed who they’re used to blaming: genetic engineering. But unlike an episode of South Park, there is no Dr. Mephesto creating continuous disasters with outlandish experiments — in fact, the idea that GMOs were to blame for what was dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder” was quickly rejected by the scientific community.

Green groups in the United States then turned their attention to pesticides, who for long have been an enemy of environmentalists who advocate for a return to traditionalist farming methods. Neonicotinoids as well as alternative products such as sulfoxaflor, have been targeted ever since as “bee-killing pesticides,” despite their significant importance for modern farming.

The scientific community however also rejected those claims for sulfoxaflor as recently as July last year. Claims that the said compound was also negated by both the European Food Safety Authority EFSA and the EPA, which calls it “better for species across the board.”

However, it isn’t just that the crop protection products blamed for bee declines aren’t responsible, but also that colony losses overall are a temporary phenomenon.

All it takes is a look at the statistics of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The data (which can be found here) shows that for 2020 numbers, there is an increase of beehives by 17% since 2010, 35% since the year 2000, and a 90% increase since the data was collected in 1961.

The most common threat that bees are supposedly subjected to by humans are neonicotinoid insecticides, known as neonics.

However, the popularization of neonics and its alternatives in the mid-’90s doesn’t trigger a collapse of bee populations. In the United States, the numbers of bee colonies have been stable for 30 years, while in Europe – where farmers also use these insecticides – the number has increased by 20%.

Yet environmentalists are expected to continue painting modern agriculture as a scapegoat, even in times when food inflation and supply shortages show us that we cannot afford a model that reduces productivity (as organic farming or agroecological processes do).

Despite the fact that farmers need crop protection products to assure that food products are affordable, safe and available, green activists call for an agricultural model that would all but outlaw them, thus making consumers worse off.

The European Union is slowly walking back its plans that would have cut pesticide use by 50% in the next few years — a rethink sparked by the war in Ukraine, which has created significant supply chain disruptions.

The United States should be proud of its agricultural success. Over time, with innovative technology, farmers use less and less crop protection products that leave fewer residues.

Meanwhile, consumers can continue to choose to buy alternatives, even though those come at a premium. This system makes up the beauty of an open economy: choices for consumers and stability for farmers.

Originally published here

New Yorkers need prudence, not bans, on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining

On May 24, 2022, the Consumer Choice Center sent a letter to New York state lawmakers, warning of the potential consequences to consumers if bill S6486D was adopted, a moratorium on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining.

The full letter is available below, or in PDF version here.

Dear Senators,

We write to you to urge you to vote against S6486D, a companion bill to A7389C, which would order a state-wide moratorium on cryptocurrency generation or mining.

If passed, this bill would be a death blow to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry, resulting in thousands of jobs lost in New York, a loss of capital to scale up renewable energy, and would harm all potential benefits to consumers from cryptocurrency projects and initiatives. 

The aim of embracing climate goals to ensure 100% renewable energy usage in cryptocurrency generation and mining is well-intended, but a complete ban will have a devastating impact on innovators and entrepreneurs hosting their facilities in the state of New York, and consumers and investors that rely on their services.

As a consumer group, it may seem odd for us to weigh in on a topic that affects mostly industry players and firms. However, because we believe that Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies more broadly, will serve a vital role in making finance and economics more inclusive and accessible for sending, receiving, and saving value, we hold it in the interest of consumers that the hashrate (the total computing power of the network) continue to grow, and that better public policy on cryptocurrencies is embraced among state legislatures.

If the Bitcoin hashrate grows specifically in the United States, then we will have more control in how mining develops and how it can benefit the country, its citizens, and our energy grids.. This last part is vital for climate goals, which cannot be said for China or other nations.

According to the latest figures from the first quarter of 2022 on Bitcoin mining specifically, 58.4% of miners are using renewable energy sources, and that number has only increased in several years. In New York, many firms are retooling abandoned processing and power generation plants to build cryptocurrency data centers, and are providing economic value in return that is putting renewable energy to work.

What’s more, this wide-ranging energy diversification is happening at a pace faster than any other industry, leading to more investment in renewable energy capacities and delivery systems. This increased demand is leading to more environmentally favorable energy delivery for customers of all public electricity utilities, and will also help bring down costs. And this is being carried out due to the incentives of firms and individuals who participate in adding hash rate to mining: they want to lower their costs and find better alternatives. 

Cryptocurrency generation and mining firms have an incentive to use the most affordable and renewable energy sources available, and the data backs up this claim. This is a win-win scenario for towns and localities with these facilities, for employees of these firms, residents in these towns that benefit from increased commerce, and energy customers overall.

As cryptocurrency mining has proliferated in New York, it has opened up new entrepreneurial activities that will help improve the lives of New Yorkers in small communities and large urban centers alike. Entertaining a ban on these activities, in pursuit of an unclear climate goal, will negate these gains. There is a better path.

It should not surprise you to know that New York’s previous policy decisions, including the highly criticized BitLicense, have locked many New Yorkers out of the new cryptocurrency ecosystem due to the high compliance costs. Some New Yorkers have chosen to change residences in order to acquire cryptocurrency or to invest in crypto businesses, which they can do in any other state, but more specifically Texas, Wyoming, and Florida.

If this moratorium on cryptocurrency generation comes to pass, it will be yet another signal to entrepreneurs and consumers that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not welcomed in New York, and the regulatory framework is too unfavorable to justify investing here.

A number of industry organizations, communities, and unions have already expressed their concerns about the impact this bill would have on their families and livelihoods, fearing potential job loss in case industry gets driven away from the state as a result of this legislation. The loss of future investments and new jobs is another concern expressed by many communities in cities such as Rochester, Albany, and Syracuse.

According to the May 2022 Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the general business conditions index has dropped thirty-six points statewide. The last thing many affected and marginalized communities need is a moratorium that would drive businesses away from the state, and keep millions of New Yorkers from being included in a new system of value.

We understand that the quick rise of cryptocurrency mining raises many questions for residents, particularly when it involves the local economy and environment. However, a more prudent path would be an environmental review conducted by relevant authorities, rather than a wholesale ban and moratorium that would put many projects in legal jeopardy.

As consumer advocates, we are strongly opposed to this bill. We believe that New York residents deserve a chance to take part in the nascent industry that so many other states are hoping to accommodate. Using the force of regulation to drive away investments and jobs, stop economic progress, and shut out millions of New Yorkers from a more inclusive financial system would not only be wrong, but it would also be negligent.

Please vote No on S6486D aiming to place a moratorium on proof-of-work and help New York become a hub of innovation that embraces new technologies. New Yorkers should have the opportunity to participate in one of the biggest innovations of our age. With your vote against this bill and a more prudent direction, we can ensure that will happen.

Sincerely Yours,

Yaël Ossowski

Deputy Director

Aleksandar Kokotovic

Crypto Fellow

More consumers reaching for alcohol-free beer, wines and spirits

Various studies over the past two years have shown that there was a worldwide increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic because many people were worried and stressed as they self-isolated due to COVID-19.

But now, it appears there is a new trend happening as sales statistics show there has been an increase in the purchases of alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits.

“You can have non-alcoholic beers now that are so close to the real thing that you could probably fool someone in a taste test,” said Sarah Kate, an alcohol-free sommelier, who is also the founder of the website, Some Good Clean Fun.

Kate promotes an alcohol-free and healthy lifestyle and said a global survey by Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately held spirits company, found that 58 per cent of consumers are now drinking beverages that contain low or no alcohol for personal and mental health reasons.

Read the full article here

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